| Annalisa Capponi

#4. What’s coffee history?

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What’s coffee history?

How did coffee history start? You are probably curious like us and want to know more about it … so let’s gather stories and facts around this mystery!

We do not always have reliable and accurate information on coffee history, but we know different myths and legends that speculate about its birthplace and movement around the world.
The most famous story goes back to the 9th-century A.D. The legend is about Kaldi, a shepherd in Ethiopia who discovered through his goats the energetic virtues of coffee cherries when he saw them dancing around after consuming them. The word coffee could come from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia. These 2 elements likely point to Ethiopia as the birthplace of coffee.
From the 14th to the 16th centuries, coffee cultivation and consumption spread throughout the Arab world and the Ottoman Empire. Coffee drinks became popular, and cultivation increased to meet demand. The opening of coffeehouses in Turkey played a crucial role in the fast expansion of this beverage.
At the beginning of the 17th century, travelers to the Near East brought coffee culture to Europe. They started trading with European ports – Like Venice and Marseilles. Coffee spread extremely fast throughout Europe. The first coffee house (Bottega del Caffe) was Venetian; it was followed by coffee houses founded in England, France and America.
In the 18th-century, coffee plants reached the Caribbean and South America.
A captain of the French Navy, Gabriel de Clieu, was sent with a seedling to establish a plantation of coffee in Martinique. The New World’s tropical regions become the best terroir to grow coffee. It’s no surprise that Brazil reigns as one of the first producers in the world, and the biggest today.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, coffee began to be cultivated in colonized territories in Africa.
Do you know other legends, facts, or stories on coffee’s history? We would love to hear from you! Share your part on the comment section 😉
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